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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Night by Elie Wiesel


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Title: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Night by Elie Wiesel

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Night by Elie
  • Background Information on World War II and the

The Book Thief Covers
and more covers
Night covers
The Book Thief
  • Fiction
  • Setting Nazi Germany, 1939
  • Narrated by Death
  • Protagonist Liesel Meminger
  • Told from perspective of German girl during
    Hitlers rule

  • Setting Sighet, a village in the Carpathian
    Mountains in northern Transylvania, which was
    annexed by Hungary in 1940
  • True account of a young Jewish boys, Elie
    Wiesel, struggle to live during the Holocaust.
  • Narrated by the author in first person, also the
    protagonist of the story

Adolf Hitler the FührerRise to Power
  • Nazi Party stands for National Socialist German
    Workers Party
  • By 1920, Hitler was the official leader of the
    Nazi Party
  • 1923 Hitler attempted to overthrow authorities
    in Munich but failed miserably and was sent to
    prison (a hero!)
  • 1925 Hitler published Mein Kampf (My Struggle)
    written while in prison
  • 1918-WWI ended
  • German propaganda had not prepared the nation for
    defeat, resulting in a sense of injured German
  • 1919 The German Workers Party (forerunner of
    Nazi Party) formed Hitler rose to leadership
    because of his emotional and captivating speeches.

  • In Mein Kampf, Hitler uses the main thesis of
    "the Jewish peril," which speaks of an alleged
    Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership. The
    narrative describes the process by which he
    became increasingly anti-Semitic and
    militaristic, especially during his years in
    Vienna. Yet, the deeper origins of his
    anti-Semitism remain a mystery. He speaks of not
    having met a Jew until he arrived in Vienna, and
    that at first his attitude was liberal and
    tolerant. When he first encountered the
    anti-Semitic press, he says, he dismissed it as
    unworthy of serious consideration. A little later
    and quite suddenly, it seems, he accepted the
    same anti-Semitic views whole-heartedly, which
    became crucial in his program of national
    reconstruction. Becoming acquainted with Zionism,
    which he calls a "great movement," is what Hitler
    claims encouraged his view that one cannot be
    both a German and a Jew.

  • Mein Kampf has also been studied as a work on
    political theory. For example, Hitler announces
    his hatred of what he believed to be the world's
    twin evils Communism and Judaism. The new
    territory that Germany needed to obtain would
    properly nurture the "historic destiny" of the
    German people this goal explains why Hitler
    invaded Europe, both East and West, before he
    launched his attack against Russia. Blaming
    Germanys chief woes on the Weimar Republic, he
    announces that he wants to completely destroy the
    parliamentary system.

Mein Kampf
  • Introduction
  • Volume I A Reckoning
  • Chapter 1 In the House of My Parents
  • Chapter 2 Years of Study and Suffering in Vienna
  • Chapter 3 General Political Considerations Based
    on My Vienna Period
  • Chapter 4 Munich
  • Chapter 5 The World War
  • Chapter 6 War Propaganda
  • Chapter 7 The Revolution
  • Chapter 8 The Beginning of My Political Activity
  • Chapter 9 The 'German Workers' Party'
  • Chapter 10 Causes of the Collapse
  • Chapter 11 Nation and Race
  • Chapter 12 The First Period of Development of
    the German National Socialist Workers' Party

Rise of Nazi Power
  • Between 1925 and 1929, the party grew to 108,000
  • 1929 Great Depression had a large impact on
  • On January 30, 1933, President Paul von
    Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor

  • As part of a policy of internal coordination, the
    Nazis created Special Courts to punish political
    dissent. In a parallel move from April to
    October, the regime passed civil laws that barred
    Jews from holding positions in the civil service,
    in legal and medical professions, and in teaching
    and university positions. The Nazis encouraged
    boycotts of Jewish-owned shops and businesses and
    began book burnings of writings by Jews and by
    others not approved by the Reich.
  • Within months of Hitler's appointment as
    Chancellor, the Dachau concentration camp was
    created. The Nazis began arresting Communists,
    Socialists, and labor leaders. Dachau became a
    training center for concentration camp guards and
    later commandants who were taught terror tactics
    to dehumanize their prisoners.

  • On August 2, 1934, President Hindenburg died.
    Hitler combined the offices of Reich Chancellor
    and President, declaring himself Führer .
  • Hitler announced the Nuremberg Laws in 1935.
    These laws stripped Jews of their civil rights as
    German citizens and separated them from Germans
    legally, socially, and politically. Jews were
    also defined as a separate race under "The Law
    for the Protection of German Blood and Honor."
    Being Jewish was now determined by ancestry thus
    the Germans used race, not religious beliefs or
    practices, to define the Jewish people. This law
    forbade marriages or sexual relations between
    Jews and Germans. Hitler warned darkly that if
    this law did not resolve the problem, he would
    turn to the Nazi Party for a final solution. More
    than 120 laws, decrees, and ordinances were
    enacted after the Nuremburg Laws and before the
    outbreak of World War II, further eroding the
    rights of German Jews. Many thousands of Germans
    who had not previously considered themselves Jews
    found themselves defined as "non-Aryans."

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1936 Olympics in Germany
  • Berlin hosted the Olympics. Hitler viewed this as
    a perfect opportunity to promote a favorable
    image of Nazism to the world. Monumental stadiums
    and other Olympic facilities were constructed as
    Nazi showpieces.
  • While two Germans with some Jewish ancestry were
    invited to be on the German Olympic team, the
    German Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann, one of the
    world's most accomplished high jumpers, was not.
  • The great irony of these Olympics was that, in
    the land of "Aryan superiority," it was Jesse
    Owens, the African-American track star, who was
    the undisputed hero of the games.

Jesse Owens
  • Jesse Owens grew up in Moulton, Alabama
  • Received a scholarship to run at Ohio State
  • Won FOUR gold medals in Germany during the 1936

  • Within days, the Nazis forced the Jews to
    transfer their businesses to Aryan hands and
    expelled all Jewish pupils from public schools.
    With brazen arrogance, the Nazis further
    persecuted the Jews by forcing them to pay for
    the damages of Kristallnacht .
  • In Germany, open anti-Semitism became
    increasingly accepted, climaxing in the "Night of
    Broken Glass" (Kristallnacht) on November 9,
    1938. Basically, this was a free-for-all against
    the Jews, during which nearly 1,000 synagogues
    were set on fire and 76 were destroyed. More than
    7,000 Jewish businesses and homes were looted,
    about one hundred Jews were killed and as many as
    30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to
    concentration camps to be tormented, many for

Night of Broken Glass
More Night of Broken Glass
World War II Begins
  • On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland,
    officially starting World War II. Two days later,
    Britain and France, now obliged by treaty to help
    Poland, declared war on Germany. Hitler's armies
    used the tactic of Blitzkrieg, or lightning war,
    a combination of armored attack accompanied by
    air assault. Before British and French power
    could be brought to bear, in less than four
    weeks, Poland collapsed. Germany's military
    conquest put it in a position to establish the
    New Order, a plan to abuse and eliminate
    so-called undesirables, notably Jews and Slavs.

  • A Jew is forced to cut the beard of another Jew
    as a form of public humiliation.

The Ghettos
  • The Nazis' ghettos differed, however, in that
    they were a preliminary step in the annihilation
    of the Jews, rather than a method to just isolate
    them from the rest of society. As the war against
    the Jews progressed, the ghettos became
    transition areas, used as collection points for
    deportation to death camps and concentration

  • On November 23, 1939 General Governor Hans Frank
    issued an ordinance that Jews ten years of age
    and older living in the General Government had
    to wear the Star of David on armbands or pinned
    to the chest or back. This made the
    identification of Jews easier when the Nazis
    began issuing orders establishing ghettos.

Jews were intimidated
Ghettos 1941
  • Ghetto life was wretched. The ghettos were
    filthy, with poor sanitation. Extreme
    overcrowding forced many people to share a room.
    Disease was rampant. Staying warm was difficult
    during bitter cold winters without adequate warm
    clothes and heating fuel. Food was in such short
    supply that many slowly starved to death.

  • Jewish ration card entitled the Jew to 300
    calories per day!

Children starved in the ghettos
1941-1942 The Camps
  • Camps were an essential part of the Nazis'
    systematic oppression and mass murder of Jews,
    political adversaries, and others considered
    socially and racially undesirable. There were
    concentration camps, forced labor camps,
    extermination or death camps, transit camps, and
    prisoner-of-war camps. The living conditions of
    all camps were brutal.

  • Dachau, one of the first Nazi concentration
    camps, opened in March 1933, and at first
    interned only known political opponents of the
    Nazis Communists, Social Democrats, and others
    who had been condemned in a court of law.
    Gradually, a more diverse group was imprisoned,
    including Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies,
    dissenting clergy, homosexuals, as well as others
    who were denounced for making critical remarks
    about the Nazis.

Death Camps
  • Six death or extermination camps were constructed
    in Poland. These so-called death factories were
    Auschwitz-Birkenau , Treblinka , Belzec ,
    Sobibór, Lublin (also called Majdanek), and
    Chelmno . The primary purpose of these camps was
    the methodical killing of millions of innocent
    people. The first, Chelmno, began operating in
    late 1941. The others began their operations in

The Final Solution
  • In January 1942, SS official Reinhard Heydrich
    held a meeting of Nazi government officials to
    present the Final Solution. At this meeting,
    known as the Wannsee Conference , the Nazi
    officials agreed to SS plans for the transport
    and destruction of all 11 million Jews of Europe.
    The Nazis would use the latest in twentieth
    century technology, cost efficient engineering
    and mass production techniques for the sole
    purpose of killing off the following racial
    groups Jews, Russian prisoners of war, and
    Gypsies. Their long-range plans, unrealized,
    included targeting some 30 million Slavs for

Mass Murders
  • Starting early in 1942, the Jewish genocide
    (sometimes called the Judeocide) went into full
    operation. Auschwitz 2 (Birkenau), Treblinka,
    Belzec, and Sobibór began operations as death
    camps. There was no selection process Jews were
    destroyed upon arrival.

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Gates leading in to Auschwitz Work will make you
  • By the end of 1943 the Germans closed down the
    death camps built specifically to exterminate
    Jews. The death tolls for the camps are as
    follows Treblinka, (750,000 Jews) Belzec,
    (550,000 Jews) Sobibór, (200,000 Jews) Chelmno,
    (150,000 Jews) and Lublin (also called Majdanek,
    50,000 Jews). Auschwitz continued to operate
    through the summer of 1944 its final death total
    was about 1 million Jews and 1 million non-Jews.
    Allied encirclement of Germany was nearly
    complete in the fall of 1944. The Nazis began
    dismantling the camps, hoping to cover up their
    crimes. By the late winter/early spring of 1945,
    they sent prisoners walking to camps in central
    Germany. Thousands died in what became known as
    death marches.

Death Marches
  • Resistance against the Nazis--planned and
    spontaneous, armed and unarmed--took many forms
    throughout WWII and the Holocaust. For many, the
    resistance was a struggle for physical existence.
    Some escaped through legal or illegal emigration.
    Others hid. Those who remained, struggled to
    obtain life's essentials by smuggling the food,
    clothing, and medicine necessary to survive.

  • On October 7, the sonderkommando (prisoners
    forced to handle the bodies of gas chamber
    victims) succeeded in blowing up one of the four
    crematoria at Auschwitz . All of the saboteurs
    were captured and killed.
  • Resistance continued until the end of the war.

Rescue and Liberation
  • Throughout the Holocaust, victims received help
    from rescuers. Courageous German citizens were
    able to hide and protect thousands of Jews and
    other victims of oppression until the defeat of
    Nazi Germany and the liberation of the death
    camps by the Allied forces.

  • Those who attempted to rescue Jews and others
    from the Nazi death sentence did so at great risk
    to their own safety. Anyone found harboring a
    Jew, for example, was shot or publicly hanged as
    a warning to others. Sharing scarce resources
    with those in hiding was an additional sacrifice
    on the part of the rescuer. Despite the risks,
    thousands followed the dictates of conscience.

  • Better known rescuers include Raoul Wallenberg,
    the Swedish diplomat who led the effort that
    saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews in 1944. Another
    rescuer, Oscar Schindler, saved over 1,000 Polish
    Jews from their deaths. Huguenot Pastor André
    Trocme led the rescue effort in Le
    Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, which hid and
    protected 5,000 Jews. Over 13,000 men and women
    who risked their lives to rescue Jews have been
    honored as "Righteous Gentiles" at the Yad Vashem
    Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Thousands more
    remain unrecognized.

Oscar Schindler
Raoul Wallenberg
1945 Horror and Shock
  • As Allied troops entered Nazi-occupied
    territories, the final rescue and liberation
    transpired. Allied troops who stumbled upon the
    concentration camps were shocked at what they
    found. Large ditches filled with bodies, rooms of
    baby shoes, and gas chambers with fingernail
    marks on the walls all testified to Nazi
    brutality. General Eisenhower insisted on
    photographing and documenting the horror so that
    future generations would not ignore history and
    repeat its mistakes. He also forced villagers
    neighboring the death and concentration camps to
    view what had occurred in their own backyards.

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Elie, his mother, and two sisters before the
Elie today
Elie at Aushwitz
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The Jews 1940 - 1945
  • The Holocaust

Prelude to the Final Solution
  • When Hitler seized power in 1933 he used his new
    powers under the Enabling Law to begin his
    attack on the Jews.
  • In 1938, the Nazi attack on the Jews changed and
    became more violent with Himmler launching
    Kristallnacht on 11th November 1938.
  • By 1939, half of Germanys 500,000 Jews had
    emigrated to escape Nazi persecution.

Prelude to the Final Solution
  • In 1939, Germany invaded Poland which had a much
    larger population of 3 million Jews.
  • In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a
    population of 5 million Jews.

Change of Tactics Einsatzgruppen
  • Himmler sent four specially trained SS units
    called Einsatzgruppen battalions into German
    occupied territory and shot at least 1 million
  • Victims were taken to deserted areas where they
    were made to dig their own graves and shot.
  • When the SS ran out of bullets they sometimes
    killed their victims using flame throwers.

Change of Tactics Einsatzgruppen
The Final Solution
  • In January 1942, Himmler decided to change
    tactics once again and called a special
    conference at Wannsee.
  • At this conference it was decided that the
    existing methods were too inefficient and that a
    new Final Solution was necessary.

Wannsee Conference
Shooting was too inefficient as the bullets were
needed for the war effort
Women, children, the old the sick were to be
sent for special treatment.
The young and fit would go through a process
called destruction through work.
On arrival the Jews would go through a process
called selection.
How was the Final Solution going to be organised?
Jews were to be rounded up and put into transit
camps called Ghettoes
The remaining Jews were to be shipped to
resettlement areas in the East.
The Jews living in these Ghettos were to be used
as a cheap source of labour.
Conditions in the Ghettos were designed to be so
bad that many die whilst the rest would be
willing to leave these areas in the hope of
better conditions
How did the Nazi decide who was Jewish?
  • At the Wannsee conference it was decided that if
    one of persons parents was Jewish, then they
    were Jewish.
  • However, if only one of their grandparents had
    been Jewish then they could be classified as
    being German.
  • In 1940, all Jews had to have their passports
    stamped with the letter J and had to wear the
    yellow Star of David on their jacket or coat.

Where were the Death Camps built?
The work of the Einsatzgruppen
What tactics did the Nazis use to get the Jews to
leave the Ghettos?
New arrivals at the Death camps were given
postcards to send to their friends.
The Jews were told that they were going to
resettlement areas in the East.
The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed a
1000 calories a day .
In some Ghettos the Jews had to purchase their
own train tickets.
A Human being needs 2400 calories a day to
maintain their weight
They were told to bring the tools of their trade
and pots and pans.
The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or
for any act of resistance
Hungry people are easier to control
Children Dying of Starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto
SS Tactics Dehumanisation
  • The SS guards who murdered the Jews were
    brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda.
  • The Jews were transported in cattle cars in
    terrible conditions.
  • Naked, dirty and half starved people look like
    animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi
  • The SS used to train their new guards by
    encouraging them to set fire to a pit full of
    live victims usually children.

Tactics What happened to new arrivals?
At Auschwitz the trains pulled into a mock up of
a normal station.
All new arrivals went through a process known as
Mothers, children, the old sick were sent
straight to the showers which were really the
gas chambers.
The Jews were helped off the cattle trucks by
Jews who were specially selected to help the Nazis
Deception Selection
The able bodied were sent to work camp were they
were killed through a process known as
destruction through work.
At some death camps the Nazis would play records
of classical music to help calm down the new
At Auschwitz the new arrivals were calmed down by
a Jewish orchestra playing classical music.
Entrance to Auschwitz
Notice how it has been built to resemble a
railway station
Auschwitz Orchestra
Map of Auschwitz
New Arrivals
Destruction Through Work
Auschwitz from the air
Notice how the Death camp is set out like a
factory complex
The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the
Jews and process their dead bodies
The Gas Chambers
  • The Nazis would force large groups of prisoners
    into small cement rooms and drop canisters of
    Zyklon B, or prussic acid, in its crystal form
    through small holes in the roof.
  • These gas chambers were sometimes disguised as
    showers or bathing houses.

The SS would try and pack up to 2000 people into
this gas chamber
The outside of the Gas Chamber
Processing the bodies
  • Specially selected Jews known as the
    sonderkommando were used to to remove the gold
    fillings and hair of people who had been gassed.
  • The Sonderkommando Jews were also forced to feed
    the dead bodies into the crematorium.

The Ovens at Dachau
Dead bodies waiting to be processed
Shoes waiting to be processed by the
Taken inside a huge glass case in the Auschwitz
Museum. This represents one day's collection at
the peak of the gassings, about twenty five
thousand pairs.
Destruction Through Work
This photo was taken by the Nazis to show just
how you could quite literally work the fat of the
Jews by feeding them 200 calories a day
Destruction Through Work
Same group of Jews 6 weeks later
Was the Final Solution successful?
  • The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million Jews at the
    Wannsee Conference in 1941
  • Today there are only 2000 Jews living in Poland.
  • The Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews.
  • Men like Schindler helped Jews escape the Final
  • Not all Jews went quietly into the gas cambers.
  • In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto, like many others
    revolted against the Nazis when the Jews realised
    what was really happening.

The End
  • Evil is when a few good men decide to do nothing.
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